Channel: Jonathan Brown
Centrepiece of Confessional Ambiguity
The confessional ambiguity between the spheres of Sunnism and Shiaism at various points in Islamic history is well known. But what is surprising is to see it appear among those Sunni scholars most known for antipathy towards Shiaism, such as the Ahl al-Hadith of the eighth-twelfth centuries CE. This presentation will look at how the persona and Hadith collection of Ali Reda served as a centrepiece for such confessional ambiguity, particularly in Persia from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries.
Good evening, everyone.
I'm Susan Schoenberger. I'm the Director of Communications here at Hartford seminary. And I apologize on behalf of Dr. Nacho Bonnie, he actually was taken ill this afternoon, and so he won't be able to be with us tonight, and he sends his apologies.
So that leads me to introduce our speaker. And to tell you that this is part of our series
that is sponsored by the Mr. Molly chair for Shia studies and dialogue among Islamic legal schools. So I know many of you have been here for some of the other talks that we've had in this series. And it's been a wonderful series, we've had some really outstanding scholars come in and speak to us and I'm sure tonight will be one of those as well.
I'm going to introduce to you Jonathan AC Brown, who is the alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic civilization in the School of foreign service at Georgetown University. He is also the director of the Allah lead bin Talal center for Muslim Christian understanding. He received his BA in history from Georgetown University, and his doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago. Dr. Brown has studied and conducted research in Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, South Africa, India, Indonesia and Iran. He has written many books, including misquoting Mohammed, the challenges and choices of interpreting the prophets legacy, which
was named one of the top books on religion for 2014 by the independent. So please join me in welcoming Dr. Brown.
Thanks very much, everybody.
I guess hopefully, I'll see you later. gets better and Sharla.
It's a pleasure to be back here. I think it's been a couple years since I've been here. But I did recommend recognize that place I had the pleasure of the glorious autumn leaves, watching them as I came on the train, I felt like the they were like scrubbing my spirit, the colors of the leaf is just, it's just so beautiful. And where I leave a little bit farther south, we're not, you know, we don't get quite as many bright colors. So I was glad to come this time of year. So
the the topic of my lecture is something that I came across a couple of years ago, when I was writing my book on Hadoop. And it's something that interests me a lot, the phenomenon of
kind of confessional ambiguity, or
overlap between Sunni and Shia traditions, at the very place that you think is least likely to find this, namely, in the Sunni Hindi traditions, the traditional presumptive Sunni Hadeeth scholarship, that
was born out of the Atlas and ojima, the people at the center ngema this, the school of thought, which formed in the late 1700s, early hundreds in the hijas, and Iraq and Iran. One of its defining features is that it's very opposed to the two schools of thought. So when you when you find kind of overlap between Sunni and Shia traditions, in material or in, in style, it's very interesting to me, so I, this the case of this half of a man is an excellent, excellent case of that. And now I want to discuss this what I find to be a fascinating instance, that also i'm going to use the Persian pronunciation to say, I'll mom resize that a lot. So it's like resnet sounds better than
just my personal predilection. So what is this a hippo enamel USA, this is a collection of about 210 heads. I counted them on the train. So I might be a few off because you know, the trains bumping up and down about 210 heads via snap and a snap change renovation from Mount aliotta de la raza from his father must have called them from Jaffa sodic from Muhammad ibaka from Ali met Xena Deen from St. From Olive now Vitaly from the Prophet Lisa. So it goes back through the chain of commands to the profit
and this collection of Hades
Is the the report is that it was transmitted by Mr. Ali Reza when he's trapped, passing through a custody in the city of Cosby in northern Iran, and he's hiding there from his pursuers. And he he's hiding in the house of one of his students same dope and silly man oh kasi dope into the mantle of Ozzy and he transmits these hoodies to him and then that this collection of hoodies then gets passed on in Cosby. And the first place I read about this was when I was reading a book called Tajweed Barre class v. And this is a book by a famous Shafi scholar. He's his main theme is that he was a scholar and really important scholar of the Shafi School of Law. And he his name is Karima rawfully,
Karima Rafi who died in 26, of the Common Era. So he's a scholar who's a mainly a jurist, and shoppies rule of law, one of the things he decided to do on the side is write history of his native city of Casa viene, which everybody knows is in northern Iran, as far as I remember, it's kind of on the, in the foothills of the alborz Mountains, and it's about my camera,
two hours from Tehran.
If you're on a car, anybody about two hours, it would be on the road. Basically, if you were on the Silk Road, so you were a merchant, on the Silk Road, from China all the way to the Middle East, or any of that part between any place between those two places. If you are going from Mesa poor Nisha poor, you'd pass through Ray, which is now Tehran, and then you go to Pennsylvania, and then you'd go to
you know, hamazon, and then you'd go eventually to to Baghdad. So these places are all on the same road, you can see why there's a lot of connection between them.
So, the author in his history of cars have been, he talks about how famous this this, this Hadeeth collection became and that this stop made by a leader became very
going against my own principal imaam Reza, this is his stock in a closet Dean becomes this famous moment in Vini history that says I became very well known in the city of Cosby.
So what's in this collection? About about 210 heads what type of material do we find in it going back to the Prophet there's about five different eyes You know, grouped into five different types of material. But one is a nice I think the predominant category is what you might call a generic innocuous artistic material What I mean is it's it's pirated material that no one is going to find controversial at least no Muslim would find controversial for example, the Prophet saying an Impreza in Wilmette in the Fatiha so knowledge is treasures and its keys are questions
okay, that's no one's gonna get that's pretty basic principle everyone can agree on that. Another one, Yakima voted for No, you can revoke Hulu, Hulu, be aware of injustice because it destroys hearts.
Everybody can does probably everyone in the world can agree with that principle.
Another one you find is things that appear in the Sunni tradition as well
as Hadees that are maybe not necessarily considered very reliable, but are very widespread, like anything which the Prophet says that whoever memorizes 40 Hadees for the oma will be resurrected amongst the scholars on the Day of Judgment. So very, very common a deed which is the behind the phenomenon of 48th collections in the Sunni tradition. And then of course, also in the Shiite tradition, for example.
Ayatollah Khomeini has a famous book of 40 heads with his own fullest nads all the way back to the Prophet.
The second type, you might consider a pro athlete material.
a lot of this is actually also found in the Sony Hadeeth collections. So for example, had a thought that stuck Elaine, where the Prophet lays out Sam says, I've left amongst you to duck Elaine, which I've never really known how to translate to weighty things to heavy things, my son and my my family, my eternity. This you find in Sahih, Muslim, one of the main the most respected Sony headings, collections, the what's called heavy too heavy to Safina or headache Safina where the Prophet says that, indeed My family is like the Noah's Ark, whoever gets in it, whoever you know, reaches that basically it will be saved and whoever misses it is going to perish. And this is also found in some
Sunni unique collections like the most southern Tibet.
hackerman Isa puri the mock gem of the top Ronnie these are fairly well respected Sony to data collections and other hoodie in
Saif Ali Reza is the Hadith of the Prophet says Fatima is a part of me. So whoever angers her is angered me whoever pleases tourism pleased me. And this headache you find in so hard this material is it's it's very pro athlete bait, but it's also it's within the realm of the way Sunday's talk about that debate and the virtues in the favor of the family of the Prophet. You also find ones that I don't think I've seen in any new collections.
But I can easily imagine being in one like Hades, where the Prophet talks about the rewards you get if you visit the grave of Hussein Hussein.
Okay, there's a third category is really pronounced material focusing on thoughts Emma, and him say,
and I, I didn't get a chance to check really thoroughly. But I've I don't think this appears in Sony in mainstream Sony collections. But I could be wrong. I don't want to make definitive statements about this. For example, one could eat the Prophet talks about how on the Day of Judgment, God will resurrect Fatima, and she will have with her a cloth that's soaked in the blood of her son.
And she'll go to the throne of God and ask God to pass judgment on between her and the person who killed her son.
This is not
this is not anti Sunni in the sense that, you know, when even a very, you know, doctrinaire strict semi scholar like the famous elite scholar of Damascus in the 14th century, shamsudeen heavy died 1348 You know, he is no fan of shades. In fact, she's often called by
zedi. And shade authors is often called moskvy. That kind of very hardcore so many, when he talks about Hussein's death, I mean, this is, you know, this is a huge tragedy, that, you know, you can't, you can't, and no one can start denied a massive tragedy, that this this, this massacre represents. So even, you know, this, this Hadeeth, although I'm not sure I would you find in Sony collections, it doesn't represent something that is inimical or anti spending.
There's other things that are, you know, again, not anti Sony but they they're starting to get very more particular Shiite, for example, one handy thing which the Prophet says that God has commanded Muslims to love for people, it sell man and fantasy and without authority and metadata, last word, without even a last word. So these are sell man without him without him. So what are the three companions of the Prophet who are the kind of the biggest offenders of Ali's claim to the caliphate to leadership? So
this is, you know, clearly rings with Shiite tones, but also, again, Sudanese wouldn't object to this, because they'd say, well, these are all companions. So they're all just, they're all people you should admire. There's nothing wrong with singling these four people out.
Then, interestingly, in the collection, there's also stuff that is sort of ambiguously pro semi, and I mean, ambiguously, as I think you could read it, in two ways, kind of depending on how you see the world. One is the Prophet saying men stuff and IBM quoted a woman server socket and obedient. julita. Whoever curses a prophet should be killed. Whoever curses the companion of a prophet
should be lashed.
Now, Sudanese would say, Yes, we agree. That's what we've been saying all the time. Right? But it depends who you consider to be the companion to the Prophet.
Because in the zedi, tradition, or any manufacturer, should they have very specific definitions? Or Who's this Companion of the Prophet for the 70s? After the main definition, which is provided by Bukhari is that anybody who sees the prophet and dies and Muslim is a companion of the Prophet.
Whereas in the Shiite schools, there's a much more restrictive definition. So it kind of whoever reads this, if they bring their own perspective to it, it's actually acceptable to them. The second one is the proper thing. Allahumma autocom for the 30 the last Murat Tila Jaroslaw man photostatic called alladhina Yes, tournament deputy where your your una hora de was soon as you were like, were you Allah Mona.
The Prophet. The Prophet says, oh, god
Have mercy on my kailis or my successors.
And he says there's three times and someone asked him, oh messenger of God who are your successors, your Caleb's. And he says, Those people who come after me and narrate my Hadees and transmit my son and teach it to people.
So again, if you are a suddenly reading this, you'd say, Yep, this is this is this is really excellent, we completely agree.
And if you are a Shiite, you would also say this is excellent, because you would simply have a different definition of who these successors are. Okay?
So what you have is a collection that is, it is
innocuously pi artistic, or it's reverential to the family of the prophet in the way that Sunday's would completely accept. Or it's
speaking about issues in such a vague way that people could read it either in through a sunny light or [???], like,
how is this the collection transmitted? Now I have to say, I haven't done an exhaustive study on this collection. So I don't want to I could be missing lots of things. And if I'm wrong about something, and somebody knows about that, please correct me. And don't leave thinking that you've, you know, heard an encyclopedia, encyclopedic presentation on this issue, because there's probably things I'm missing.
What's interesting is that this collection is really tied to the city of Medina, it has a special relationship to the city of Cosby. And as far as I can tell
it in reface history because of me, which is four volumes, it comes up over and over and over again, it's like, you know, I don't know what would be the good example. And
you know, it's like being from Dublin and having to read Dubliners, because, you know, in your fourth grade class, or whatever the heck they call grades in Ireland, I mean, the idea is, it's a sort of it's a, it's a, it's a book that's tied to your city, and people who go through the the study of Hadeeth and pi toxic material in the measures of cause Vien and the 910 100 and 1100s of the Common Era, this, this collection of heads is something that they study in here, as part of that, that process, that kind of acculturation into the world of Islamic knowledge, Sunni Islamic knowledge in custody. So, just for example,
we have examples of of being heard and studied in the nine hundreds in the 10. hundreds, even at the latest example I saw was in 1098 of the common year, I mentioned someone
narrating this to students in the one of the mosques have been
and then we know also that it goes to Baghdad, the famous scholar of Baghdad, people like daddy who died in 460-300-1071 of the Common Era. But even Baghdadi is
people a lot of people just known from his history of Baghdad, but his main
vocation was Hadid scholar he was a Shafi Hadid scholar and followed the Austrian School of Theology and was very sunny. And but in his history of Baghdad, he mentioned that this the collection of Mr. Ali Reza was brought to Baghdad in the year 318 Hijri, which is about
928 929 of the common Europe. And it was brought there by someone even more away from Qazvin, who was the student of download bins with a metal kasi.
That would have been to them alkazi.
And so he brings this to the city to the city of Baghdad in 318 of the history about 923 of the common hero, sorry, about 928 at the corner.
And what's interesting is that the buck daddy considers this figure in microwave, who is the main transmitter of the evaluators up, he considers him to be reliable. He says he's a reliable transmitter who said, He says he's a reliable transmitter. And something else that he mentioned about him, which is something I'll get into later, is that he also brought material from a very important and respected a D scholar of Ray Ray named given a B hats and they've been have he had some Razi was a very important the scholar who died in the year 927
Hijri, about sorry, 320 709 38 of the Common Era, and he is one of the most important figures in Sunni Hadith transmission and the scientists of Sunni Hadees criticism his father was calling I blocked him at Razi, and his father and his father's best friend, I was around raazi with the two biggest techniques scholars, Sony, these scholars have Ray
In the late 1800s, of the commoner, and they were really formative Sonia Hadeeth critics. So even Abby hyphema Razi, he's like a clearinghouse for really important material from the Sonia de Trent tradition. And what's interesting is even Mahara. When it comes to Baghdad, not only is he bringing the norscot, or this key for the RZA, he's also bringing lots of books have in the house in the browser.
Another thing I noticed, and I'm not sure if this is a different book, because the only published edition of this paper of all the result that I found, is published in it's basically from the zedi tradition.
So I don't know if the version that was in class V is the same version as the one from Yemen, or if it's two different versions, or if it's the same book. But there's another, it could be the same book, but there's another transmission of this book that goes back through Zaidi, scholars of Yemen, and eventually to the famous Sunni scholar of Damascus given saket. Even our Sacher died in 1176, of the Common Era. He wrote the famous history of Damascus, which is at volumes published in 80 volumes. It's not as big as hard on wad, which is 100 volumes, but it's pretty big at volumes, and then it goes back to another famous Sunni scholar from Northern Iran. They happy they have these
from Bangkok, which is now sabzevar, which is about halfway between Tehran and corizon, like Mesa poor area area.
So it goes back through these to Northern Iran, but then instead of going to convene, it goes back to Basra.
So someone transmitted this from
Mr. Malaga and then went to Basra instead of saying,
Okay, how do we explain
this, this book and its popularity amongst so many scholars in northern Iran?
Especially in this video, because mean, well, what was was cuts been sort of a
particularly sensitive relaxed place or something like that. No, I don't think I don't think so. I think Sunday, I think because Venus is a very Sunni Sunni place. I think that that's my impression. In fact, and of course, this is many centuries later, but when the sattva dynasty takes over Iran in the early 1500s, cuz Dean is the be single, most single most powerful stronghold of Satanism, in Iran, in Persia. And in fact, they have to the south, the dynasty basically has to make kind of a truce with the Sunni scholars of cause been,
and basically say that they can stay Sunday, they don't have to convert shoes and but they they can't be too public about their teachings. And one of the when the the Ottomans and the safavids had their peace treaty, the Battle of after the the Treaty of
amasya, I think in 1055.
One of the conditions of the treaty is that the
savages have to relax their treatment of the Sunni scholars in question. So I think it's interesting to think about because Venus survey historically historical stronghold of Islamism in Iran, even after it's, it comes under shake control with the dynasty. But I think even even in the cuisine in the 910 100 of the Common Era, I think there's a very clear, strong Sunni bent. Here's a good example.
A scholar in cuisine, writes a book on the facade of
the virtues of myopia. Not a lot of people write books on the virtues of myopia, even in sunny Islam.
the famous North African scholar wrote the Iberian scholar called the luebeck ravenol, how to be who dies around 1146 of the Common Era around 1146. When he goes to Baghdad, he studies with a Mohammed Al Hassan Ali and Baghdad, and he's very sending his book and I lost the middle callosum. It's like,
a short guidebook to being really really hardcore proud Sunday. One of the things he mentions is he says when he went to he members of reading over the doors at one of the mosques of Baghdad that it said
it praise the for Caleb's for rightly guided chaos and then out of adding more Ali after them so it's not like Sunday's are throwing under the bus right left and center. But to sit and actually devote a book to FDA. We have is in my
My knowledge very rare, even for Simmons, but someone in
cars being one of the scholars writes a book on Fudan, why are we here?
If you live in Damascus, for example, in the 700 800, then I can see somebody writing for Bob Marley, I
mean, the only place even today in the Muslim world, you find people named yazeed would be in like the sheer Sham area of Syria. It is my, in my experience. That's the case even
centuries and centuries ago. One of the few people you'll find was named yazeed. In the singing tradition is Muhammad vinius, even magia died 273 876 of the Common Era. Imagine one of the authors of the author of one of the Sunday comical semi collections of heady some Madhavan magic was from convene
to Mohammed, if India's even magic is from Cosby, again, kind of a product of a city that I think was very sunny place.
But what's interesting is that there's other there's also other material transmitted in
cuisine. That goes back to the mom, Ali Reza, for example. The the will that the Kayla Fatima moon wrote, where he specified Ali Reza as his successor,
everybody, anybody who studied Islamic history knows that the Caliph on the moon at certain point actually designates Ali Reza as his successor.
And then other as his amount of hours is murdered. In effect, he's in the entourage of the moon. And he dies under very suspicious circumstances on while traveling with him in your becomes the city of tos.
But what's interesting so that that will, is transmitted like edits in the mosque
which is very interesting. It's a historical document or it's actually transmitted as the deeds are transmitted for patriotic purposes not for legal purposes, no one's deriving law from the will of moonta. Ali Reza is transmitted for pirate for the purposes of Baraka.
Another thing that gets transmitted in in connection to the safe of Ali Reza is the was
the was CEO of Alibaba tala. I'm not sure what that is. I'm sure that other people know what it is. But it's the kind of last will and testament of
it, I'll even be taller. So this is also transmitted in Qazvin by Sony's alongside this wave of altruism, altruism.
how do we, how do we explain this? How do we explain the fact that this material is being transmitted in a very, very stormy city?
And it seems to really begin there and flourish there, even though it goes to other parts of the Muslim world?
I mean, I think the answer is given to us in a story that's also in
the history of conservation of Rothery.
In Norway, the transmitter of this hydraulic reservoir tells a story
that even Abby hacks Emma Razi
heard from his father. So again, we have this connection between the hayflick Valley and Risa and even Abby had some Razi, who is again, a very important figure in Sunni
criticism. Even if he had summarize, he hears from his father, Abraham Razi, and other huge scholar, Sony scholar, that if you read loud Korea had any snap at image noon, law thought, what does that mean? If somebody is afflicted with some kind of madness, or epilepsy or seizure, and you read the snad of Ali Reza back through his forefathers to the profit, if you read that as snad that change his mission out over this person, they will heal them.
And even Abby had to morality says that this actually happens. So he's walking down the street, and some guy collapses in a fit in a seizure. And he reads this gnat out over this person and he recovers.
So what do we see here? This is the better guy, the blessing of this is snap of the family of the Prophet.
It's able to heal these people. So this is a story that is passed down by even having happened Razi from his father, Rosie, and then gets tacked on to various associated with the the Saif Ali Reza.
As to give you an example of
how kind of shocking this might be.
I will have some Razi, the father event of the hats and Rosie and his best friend I was around Rosie I was on a Razzie is the one who says, If you and if you hear anybody speak elephant companion to the Prophet, that person has indique.
That means their heritage. So that's actually one of the the authoritative statements in sunny books of heavy criticism when you when you want to know what to how to judge someone's speaking ill of one of the companions of the Prophet is they'll cite this statement by others that are Razi that if someone says something negative about one of the companions of the Prophet, that person is a heretic.
the same social circle that produces that statement by others that arrazi also produces a rosy statement about reading the snap of the Mom, Mom, how the roses, Heidi's out over a sick person can heal them. And there's, there's not contradiction here. There's not a contradiction here. Because even if you are very doctrinaire somebody who thinks that it is absolutely unacceptable to speak ill of any of the family, or any of the paintings of the Prophet, you can still believe in the tremendous vatika of the family of the Prophet. These things are not inconsistent. And it seems clear to me that in the context of cuisine, from the 900, to 10 100 1100, and in others places where
the hatred of Ali Reza is transmitted. It's the it's the Baraka of the flame of the Prophet that is what is endearing this to the Sunni Sunni scholarly circles of transmitted.
But this rate raises another interesting point, which is that even the very
strict Sunni Hadith scholars of the horizont region of Northern Iran and Horus on so re and then over into the forest on province, which back then would have been based around four different cities, nature, poor, Herat, Marv, and
So today it goes between nice Northeastern Iran into Afghanistan, a little bit of Uzbekistan and Turkey, Turkmenistan, that region, the headteacher the Sunni tradition, there was very strongly oriented towards the family of the Prophet, very strongly oriented towards the Prophet just as some examples hackerman A subhuti is a famous scholar who died in 1015, of the Common Era from Nisha for
his he writes a book called The Mr. Rock, which is a collection of ideas that he claims meets the the critical criteria of Korean wars. So it becomes a very influential and each collection and suddenly Islam, although there's a lot of disagreement about whether actually he's a very good at each critic. It's a very respected collection. That's the collection where you find things like Heidi, where the Prophet says, looking at Ali is a type of worship another and a honey badger, which a lot of Sunni scholars like Josie and that heavy, don't accept they think that that is false. But I was sorry. Hackman is a 40 says no, this is that he is authentic up to the standards of Bihar and
it's also not
surprising that Hakka municipality is accused by some of being Shiite, of having shared meanings, because one of the headaches he also can include in his collection is the headache of it or home. The instance in which the Prophet says that to his followers that whoever's master I am that Allah is his master.
Even when we go back to the compilers of the six books, the famous Sony canonical reflections.
Bukhari in his section, in his hate on the virtues of the companions of the Prophet, he has a section on Wailea. But there's no real reports. There's no reports from the Prophet about Malia. It's just even on bass, the Companion of the Prophet Prophet saying, basically saying that Malia was the puppy that he had good knowledge of, of Islamic teachings. But of course, the other chapters have the Prophet himself or these hasulam, praising the companion who is the subject of that that chapter.
And slightly Muslim does not have a section on wowie.
an essay and a bit Raven Asahi who's from nessa which is also on that same road and horizontal, kind of between around the Nisha poor area. He
he traveled like all these other scholars traveled widely and he went to Damascus and in Damascus,
He saw that people were negatively disposed towards it. And so he wrote a book called Casa Is it the the special virtues of Halle Berry?
Damascus got upset at him and said, Why don't you write a book on the virtues of Mongolia? And he said, What am I going to put in the book that the Prophet said?
Allah Houma data should not just be a button Oh, God, that is a string. So Mari is one of the prophets scribes. And the Prophet The story is this handy because in
in some inside a Muslim
the Prophet tells someone go get well Haha, so we can come and write something for me. And while he says I'm eating, since the beginning, while we stopped eating, in terms of again, and then the project gets upset, he says, you know, may God never make his stomach full. So the story is that necessity is saying that, what am I going to put in the book of the Virgin Somalia this story about him not, you know, the Prophet saying this. And actually, one of the reports about the way that necessity died is that he was beaten to death by people who are upset into managers who are upset that he had written this book on the virtues of it, and wouldn't write one on the virtues of Wailea.
But that story is disputed. It's unclear exactly how he died.
I mean, I should have given this example earlier, but also in the midst of that are given Hackman neysa pootie. He has a story of motwane hakam. being brought to the Prophet as a child and prophet calling him meant rune even though
it is a cursed person who is the son of the son of a curse person, because the Prophet had also expelled Marwan his father and haccombe it expelled him from Medina and he was here saying even this Marwan is also a cursed person. So then, Hackman is a Buddha is a Sunni Hadith scholar, despite accusations shisha is assuming it is called, all these people I mentioned are Sunni scholars, their major Sunni few scholars, but the Hadith scholarship, the Sunni scholarship of the Horus on reason, in the 1800s and early 1900s, had a strong leaning towards the family, the prophet.
Just another before I wrap up another example
through a snatch of the bait in this learning tradition, and then kind of the mixed feelings that get generated around you know, people
in places other than as being you know, there's there's a, you see this tension between a desire to respect the family the profit, and appreciate what might be
useful Hadeeth material, and then this sense that maybe this is a forgery, this is some kind of [???] forgery.
A human bug daddy I mentioned earlier, the famous Indian scholar Baghdad. He says that in 311 history or that's about 922 of the common Europe. One, a scholar who's an avid so he's descended from Alabama, we call him names that have cost him in Java and Halloween. He comes from the hijas. And he brings with him a Nasca, a deep collection, via his chain of transmission by his ancestors to add even a call to the prophet
and hottie Bhagat, he says, the majority of this stuff, actor, actor, human IKEA, what that means is most of the material in it is rejected, rejected material.
But the example he gives him this rejected material is interesting.
It's a story of an even me college saying that the Prophet, he says Daniels will love
this, Melanie, highlight Yemen, the prophet of God called me and said, I want to put you in charge of Yemen, I'm going to send you to make you that the administrator, the judge in Yemen,
Yemen, the Persian governor of Yemen, converted to Islam in 628, of the Common Era, and he handed the province over to the, to the Muslim movement. So even four years before the death of the Prophet yet Yemen had become a part of the Muslim polity.
So at least add to the profit, according to the story that he said, I'm young, and I don't know how to, I don't know what to call blah, I don't know how to be a judge.
And the Prophet
hits him twice on the chest like this. And then he says, and I quote, It was as if all knowledge was mine, cooler element pendy. And my heart was stuffed with knowledge and with so that I never had any doubt judging between two people. So that's just that's just
That critique, Baghdadi gives us an example of the material that he finds unacceptable or unreliable in this other in his other
collection of headaches by a chain of transmission from the family the problem but what's interesting about this is that's actually not that unusual
in a sunny tradition in the the the Heritage Area of Apple name and Ispahani one of the big daddies teachers, famous Shafi afshari scholar from this bond, and a great Sufi and great Hadeeth collector, who died in for 3010 1038 of the common hero, I wouldn't even respond. There's a story of the Coumadin Ziad, the companion of Alabama tala
saying that it said to him his teacher
in a hat, who not illumine genma. legit to the Ha, ha, mela, indeed, in here is strong knowledge. I wish, if only I could find people to transmitted from me.
So this idea that of the esoteric transmission of knowledge
is is actually
found in the Sunni tradition, especially in the Sufi tradition in the sucede Sufi chains of semi Islam. An example of this is a story, which apparently was pretty widespread in Cairo in the 1300s, because as soon as a scholar named ozarka, she better Nina's yakushi, who died about 1394 of the Common Era. He includes his story as a story that is he hears on the streets, but he does not he doesn't consider it to be authentic. But it's interesting that it's making rounds on the streets of a very sunny city of carbon. This is a story that I need to be taught him tells the when he was washing the body of the Prophet out to the death of the Prophet lays out some water had splashed
from his body into Ali's eye.
And he said, when that water hit me in the eye, it gave me all the M and N i winning the lottery. All the knowledge of the latter day and then the the early in the latter day stages. It's like all the knowledge of the world was transmitted into him by the water from the profits body. So this is something you you did it's not uncommon in the Sunni tradition.
Of course, some scholars considered the cipher algorithm to be a total forgery. The most vocal was the famous Sony scholar of Damascus. shamsudeen their hubby already mentioned him who died 1348 what he says is that the Scott the student evaluated Ah, Ali Reza Suleiman dove into the man and Ozzy, he made this up completely.
And just, he forged it and attributed it to
just as a last point, I want to say that I don't think that the hateful valid Reza is the only locus of this overlap between Sunni and Shiite material and modes of speaking
that in the medieval period, and I'm not even talking about losses, we will speak about the age of confessional ambiguity in the 1200 and 1300s. When it's very hard to tell who's Sunday and who's Shiite in Iran and Iraq. That's not what I'm talking about. When you when you're in the 10 hundreds in Baghdad request V is very easy to tell Houstonian who's gay, this is not a period of confessional ambiguity. This is a period in which lines are drawn very sharp,
very sharply, and Sudanese know exactly who Sunday is and exactly what you have to do to be Sunni. And if you don't do those things, you're not saying this is not a period of ambiguity. But in that period, you nonetheless find these instances of overlap. And the other one I just wanted to bring up is because I wrote I wrote an article about it
is the case of ABA that if an author who's a scholar headed scholar from Kufa, he died in 330 to 8940 for the coming year. he's
a he's, he is considered to be an authority and Hadeeth in the Sunni tradition in the Miami Shia tradition, and in the Danish tradition. So three traditions that spent a lot of time arguing each other and hating each other. Actually all looked at this guy as as a Hadeeth authority. He was he was he's not living in the early the late 1700s or the early 1700s when it wasn't clear who sent me and who she is, and none of these traditions had fully formed. This guy's living in the early 1900s when it was very clear what Sonia Islam was what she had Islam was he wasn't she a no one in heaven debate over them that any doubt. But he was such an expert in Heidi's criticism that not only was he
considered to be a reliable, heady trans
Bitter he was considered to be a reliable hackneyed critic. This is very This is the only instance that I ever found when you have someone who's a,
a pronounced public,
clear Shiite, but in all the books of ga of Sony had each criticism even in the 1300s and 1400s. People like a deadbeat, who's a very, very strict Sunday will say, this scholar is a quote, one of the Hadeeth masters and an oceanic body of knowledge.
So you still, it's interesting, even in the science, the Sunni science that is the most Sunni the most,
perhaps possible to she ideas, namely the Sonia had a tradition, you still find instances like these pay for value, Rosa, and the respect for urban hospital where there is actually kind of
ecumenical overlap between the two traditions. Thanks very much.
I'm actually going to be in charge of the questions.
You want to hear by myself?
I mean, I'm,
I'm a Leo. I like I mean, I
Oh, yeah, I went to, I mean, that's not where I learned about this. I would have, but I yeah, I went to, I spent a couple of months in Iran in 2004.
Studying Persian, my Persian was actually still is pretty good. But it was very good back then. And I stayed in Tehran, and I went all around the country I went to, you know, yeah.
And Shiraz and Rashed and I spent a lot of time in florissant, I went to places that probably most Iranians don't care about. Because I was there for me, they're really important to some scholar from it. Like I went to SSI, which I don't think most Iranians go to. I went to Jew vein, which is a little village
on in the hills, but that's where the amount of how to manage a venue is from so I wanted to go there. So I had a terrific visit. I really enjoyed most fun sugar went on. And I really, I love being in Iran, and I would I would love to go back. I know it's sort of hard to get a visa I think I could probably get a visa inshallah. But I mean, now mostly, it's just getting, you know, scheduling it. We have like little kids and stuff. But I would love to go and spend, you know, as long as I could there, I really enjoyed it. Yes.
One, I love the color of your suit. That is a great note. It's a great color. But I just realized that's a mistake. Because remember, I once told that to an Iranian guy, he tried to give me his clothing. I am not. I'm just complimenting you on your tastes. No need to offer the suit.
No, I'm a pure white American guy in the sense that my ancestors come from God knows where but not Iran, as far as I know. They're all from England, Scotland, Russia, places like that.
This is you guys are just gonna be ego massage session. Why don't you ask hard questions and make me feel bad.
Wow, you read that?
So the story about that article is I was telling Mary Kay about this, but since I,
I guess no longer junior faculty and I have more
a luxury about how I
produce my research. In the last couple of years, it became very clear to me and this is not some kind of profound
recognition on my part, but that, you know, it was important to write for Muslim audiences a lot more public Muslim audience is considering a lot of the issues that Muslims face. And so it was really about the issue of gay marriage. This was I think, Oh, I remember it was the the the Orlando shooting
and I had been asked to write
some Muslim very, you know, very capable and respected Muslim scholar was on on the radio. And I mean, this is the kind of stuff now that Muslims face in terms of Islamophobia. Someone called in and asked, Well, this Orlando shooter, why was what he did wrong and Islam? Because the Prophet says that whoever commits the cause of the crime of the people have locked, should be killed. So why this guy went into the club, he was just actually just doing his Sharia duty. And the Muslim who is, you know, just how do I deal with this? I mean, this is someone asked me if someone you have to write about this, because this is a seems like a big issue. So I wrote about that. And I, I sort of talked
about the the the the Sharia positions on rule of law and against vigilantism. And even if someone commits a sin, it's the only the time or the way a lot when the owner has the right to carry out the punishment, etc, etc. And then I talked about the fact that Muslims and Islamic civilization had for centuries and centuries and centuries, going back to the time of the Prophet they said, Islam had allowed people to engage in conduct and retain beliefs that were red reprehensible to Muslims, and Muslims could have easily stamped out. Muslims could have easily said you can't do this, you can't believe that. But they allowed them to continue. And so this was sort of along the lines of arguing
that Muslims in America, and how do we position ourselves regarding other groups or other people in our society? Who who believe in things or engage in lifestyles that we find reprehensible? How do we do with that I said, you know, if Muslims who were in a position of power and who could have ended these practices, if they allowed them, then a fortiori. We who are not in a position of authority, we're just one group amongst many and embattled and disliked minority at that we're in no position to is no problem for us to acknowledge the right of other people to engage in actions that we consider to be reprehensible. And then
I got very interested in the question of subject Sati, of Hindu widow immolation. Yeah, exactly. And, and also of Zoroastrian incestuous marriage, what's called the Hootie hoo, today, it's God knows how polities pronounce you know how valid the Persian was pronouncement in the way I would read it in Persian quoted a marriage, which was the Zoroastrian marriage between siblings or Mother and Father, Son, Father, daughter marriage, which was allowed in Zoroastrianism until the 1300s. So I was interested in this because in both cases, these are things that
not only Muslims consider them reprehensible. But every, every society,
as far as I know, in human history considers immediate family interest in size to be taboo, to be unacceptable. And the wife is a widow immolation was something that Americans and British and Americans really didn't like. I mean, when you you sort of if you go to look at the Supreme Court, so court cases like the
forget the name of that can be the case of forgetting now, the 18. Davis case in 1890, and the 1878 case on freedom of religion that introduces the that allows the government to prohibit certain practice, it's about polygamy. But the the Supreme Court Justice, who's writing in that case, uses the example of Hindu wife of southie, as something that the government should be able to prohibit, even though it's in someone else's religion. So what I was trying to say is that, here are two things that in the West, we consider so reprehensible, that we actually outlaw, even if someone believes in as part of the religion, Muslims didn't do that, Muslims, Muslim rulers in India for
from the 1300s to the 1800s, allowed
Hindu widows if they wanted to throw themselves on the fire, or their husband or their husband, or burned themselves, if they came and got permission from the governor or from the Emperor. So it was clear that they were not being forced into it. They said, you can go do this, this is your religion, they they would try and convince them not to they would offer them stipends, they would say, well, we'll take care of your children, don't worry. But if the woman wants the widow want to throw us off on the fire, then Muslim rulers that as your religion, you can do that. And when it can't do so, in India, this was actually, you know, Muslims were a minority, at most their quarter of the population
of India. And so part of it is it's clear they don't want to mess too much with local people's religion because they're afraid of, you know, they want to get too much
pushback from the local population. But in the case of Zoroastrian
This is it's almost like a theoretical question because it's it's so uncommon. It's just like this is a thing that exists almost just in an on paper.
Muslims could easily have said this is unacceptable, but they still allowed it, at least the majority position. And suddenly, as long as they still allow it, even though they could have said they would have faced no repercussions had they banned it. But for them, they said, If you allow people to continue to believe in religion, you know, is false. If there's someone who's a who denies the Prophet Muhammad, who denies the existence of God, if you're allowing them to continue that, that is much worse than allowing them to marry their sister. So if you're allowing this really severe continuation, disbelief,
you by the rule of excluded middle or whatever, you have to continue to allow them to engage in in social practices that are reprehensible.
Oh, yeah, sorry. I hope that that was all interesting. I mean, I think it's
a big day. So it the first, the first article I wrote yassa lamb, I almost got what's called carpal tunnel syndrome from this, because
a lot I mean, first of all, I think actually a lot of Muslims in America were supportive. My impression is, and I haven't done any kind of polling on this. But my experience with Muslim leaders in the us is that
if I'm wrong, someone please correct me. But my impression is that there seems to be a Jim wood opinion, not a consensus, but a Jim Hoare opinion, that the regarding gay marriage that Muslims should support
the right of gays to marry, in the sense that we support the right of any community to have a definition of marriage that is not defined by Christian
cultural tradition. Why do we support that? Because that's exactly what Muslims want.
My, my marriage was as a Sharia marriage, okay. My marriage is just as reprehensible to the Anglo British legal tradition and Anglo British culture. It is just as reprehensible as gay marriages.
When you go in common law, and actually here, America is actually more advanced than Britain into the early in through the early 20th century through the 1940s and 50s. In British law, a marriage that was a Sharia marriage.
was not valid in Britain.
It was conducted in Britain. Why? Because there was a possibility, there was just a potential of polygamy, you don't have to have a polygamous marriage, if there's a potential polygamy is invalid. That was the rule of British law, then they basically started making an exception for Muslims based on exception they'd made for Jews, etc, etc. But my point is that, that our marriage is Muslim is just as reprehensible to kind of conservative Christian views in this country as gay marriages. And if I take the side of kind of conservative Christians and against the gay community,
I'm just I'm the next and I'm next in line, as far as I can tell. Now.
So on the position of that was that was what I was arguing with regarding gay marriage. And basically, I was trying to make an Islamic argument for that. Now, a lot of people in the US, I didn't get a lot of pushback for negative reaction people in the US, I got a lot of negative reaction from especially like more conservative Muslims in Europe, and the Muslim world, who found the nice thing to be totally unacceptable. And by the way, I understand their argument. I mean,
and they're and they're not naive, either. They said things like, You're stupid. If you think that it's going to stop at this. It's not, it's not going to be enough for you to defend the rights of, of LGBTQ couples to married.
The next thing is you're going to be required to morally approve what they're doing.
And I agree with those people that that is going to be asked that's already being asked of the Muslim community, it's going to be asked more and at that point, I mean, I would say, I will now stand for my religious right, which is that I do not, it is not, it is it is a interfering with my right have a right to, to free exercise, and to my right of conscience, to say that I have to change my moral opinion and my religious opinion, based on social concerns, I'm not interfering with any others, right? I'm not teaching hate. I'm not teaching someone to be violent or disrespecting people. I'm simply continuing what my religion says is a sin versus not a sin.
so is that tradition still alive?
So I remember that the the bill, a lot of the main buildings around at the
shrine of Odessa were built by Sudanese like go have shot, the pavilion of go here shot the pictures, the wife of camera lane or the daughter of Tamra, the daughter in law camera line 105 of tamilian.
So yeah, you're completely right. These were these were, you know,
like the mosque, but Hussein in Cairo, the, the shrine, or the burial places of families and descendants of the Prophet are, are just as just as much places have protocol facilities as they are for shifts. Of course, once you add a big dose of sectarianism in there, then things start changing. So now, you know if now if you talk about the shrine of Alireza, in the context of Sunni Shia issues in the Middle East, you know, oh, that's a Shiite place and they're trying to make it like the Shiite Mecca. And that's, you know, they're saying people should go there instead of the Hajj and all this kind of stuff like that. So now, you know, it becomes much more politicized. But you're
completely right that for many centuries, this was a fan of location and one of the descendants of the Prophet that was venerated by Sunni and Shia. So like,
you presented, sort of like the
Well, I mean, I wish I could say that talking about the heap of alligators that was gonna solve all the problems in the world. It's not, I mean, I, I can just tell you from my personal physician, I have no I don't tolerate sectarianism. I mean, I don't do I will not, I'm not going to I will never go down that road. It's horribly destructive, and
what the kind of damage and destruction that it creates is,
you know, has few, few peers few parallels.
So, you know, when I when I think for me is, you know, kind of personal because, you know, when I was in college, I became Muslim. When I was beginning my sophomore year, what am I, my best friend is a Shia, his name is I mean, I'm not doing the whole thing. My best friend is black, they are not doing that. This is I'm not using this to defend anything. I'm just saying that. We know when I was in my most formative time as a Muslim, my best are still to this day, my best friend is a Pakistani she had got. He's not the best Muslim.
He wouldn't mind me saying that. But he's a very, he's a really, he's a really, she really she is, even though he's not the best Muslim. He's a really lovely family, a prophet. And he, you know, I would stay with him. And you know, we would talk about this, what it meant to him, and we would listen to qualities about the family that profit. And so I think for me, I really started to I got kind of an interior feel for what this meant to him and his family. And that always stuck with me, and I don't, I won't, I would never take that I would never deny that against someone else. And I. So I don't, this idea that the Shia Emami Shiites are too far. It's just I don't have any tolerance
for that personally. And I, I don't I mean, I don't care if someone else wants to if someone is Shay once a bad mouse, I mean, Muslim black. I mean, I mean, I mean, sort of indifferent to that I decided I don't really care about history. I mean, if they, if you want to bring up I was on a panel, actually, last year
at George W. George Washington University, and it was on Sony shared relations. And I gave this lecture where I basically said that, you know, the history, history is so rich that you can, you can go back into history and kind of build whatever path forward you want. If you want to make a productive path forward, where people live together sensitively, you can find that those building blocks to build that if you want to build a path forward in the future of rancor and internet science strike. You can find those bricks to build that path. And what really upset me was the first question in the audience was from you know, a rocky she I believe
First of all, what about all the, you know, ABC horrible things that he's did in the 10? Hundreds? I said, didn't you listen to what I was? I was just saying, I got really angry. I mean, I was one of the few times I've really gotten pod, you know, question answer session, but I said, all like I would I just said is there is no point make Okay, if if Sony's did horrible stuff in the 10 hundreds, okay. I on behalf of Sony's apologize, Is that better? I mean, what's the point?
Why allow that to dictate the future? So, I mean, I my policy is I just, you know, I if someone wants to,
I don't deny
the Shiite narrative of the past. And by the way, I don't deny that because
I see Sunni as Sunni Islam, historically, not as an Akita, but Sunni Islam as a history as a sort of a realistic history. It's like, you know, it's history with all the nastiness. And it's like, you know, it's like, the American politics, there's just there's ugly stuff, there's injustice, there's horrible compromises, there's people getting assassinated, the good guys don't win the bad guys win, etc, etc.
And that's, that's like human history, it's a new kind of you. It's the history that you learn to live with, and that you you recognize the reality of you have to deal with. But I also see, for me, Shiite history is just as real as this history of oppression of the people who are worthy being killed, the people were standing up for truth, being killed, the people who were standing up against the oppressors who didn't have legitimacy being killed. And that's, you know, when I see you can see that today. You can see people standing up for truth, and then their next second, they're dead and addiction, no one even cares. I mean, so I think both divisions of history are very real to me, and
my least the way I see the world, I don't see why they are not, they're not mutually contradictory to me that there are two sides of a coin of human experience. And you, for me, I benefit from from both. I think they both bring an aspect of, of truth to me.
Yes, in the back
That's an interesting question. I just, the question was, how can I ensure intra faith model be centered, developed around Hadeeth? I'm, like, very skeptical. I don't think that interfaith discussions happen through
Scripture. I think they happen through people making
almost kind of political decisions, internal political decisions. I mean, and by the way, I think this is actually, you know, you see this in the Sunni tradition. I mean, the fact that one of the opinions of ethnic have been hongbo is that some of us can pray behind Shiites, like you can pray behind a Shiite leader. And either you have to redo your prayer, or you don't it's unclear based on his opinions, because he has several opinions on this issue. But this is this is this is I think, one of the most valuable contributions of the Sony tradition is that
you can't demand total agreement and you, you know, you might really, really hate somebody, and you might despise them, and you might disagree with them on everything you think is important that you're going to stand next to them and pray in the same mosque, and you're gonna even pray behind them.
And that's something, you know, for example, I hate the Egyptian government, the current Egyptian government, I consider it to be like an abomination in the face of the face of the earth, in terms of justice, in terms of aesthetics,
the CC regime, but as for me, I actually, I understand that if a cc was leading to prayer, I would pray behind him.
And that's so it's so I'm not even Egyptian, but that's so hard for me to stomach. But that's I think one of the the strength of the Sunni tradition is it's really this forced compromise with reality. And I think that that kind of
for intra faith agreement to happen, it has to mean it's sort of like Republicans, Democrats saying, you know, we really dislike each other and we disagree profoundly about the direction of the country but we have to get together to pass this bill on spending or something like that. People have to make a decision about accepting disagreement and still seeing common common identity.
Following the leaders and sheer follow only those four on and off
The free call as someone who may know that he is not the end all, for all, we are confirmed lack of and
that is why not only 9%, viewing the premise for the social gatherings we all have is against the law.
So that the symbolic reason we don't fall because we respect knowledge and adopt.
What do you think is his hypocrisy to some extent you just follow everyone? I think?
Yeah, I think so. You what you, I think what you're you're asking is very much kind of following up on what I just said, I think it's an important question to ask because it's sort of like a, you know, the, the corollary is what? No, well, aren't you just, you know, aren't you saying that the thing is, you say you value don't really mean that much to you, if you if you say you value justice, and you value knowledge, then why do you agree to follow someone who is neither just nor knowledgeable? And, you know, isn't that autocracy? I think my answer would be, yes, but
and again, my argument with this Sunday, kind of the Sunni political contribution is that we live in a world of hypocrisy, we not in the sense that it's, you know, we're all hypocrites, and nothing means anything, but in the sense that human beings will get in profound disagreements. And they will still have to deal with one another and agree on other things.
They'll have to put their hurt side their feelings aside,
they'll have to forget about injustices at some point, and move forward. And that
we will mostly be led by people who are neither knowledgeable nor just because the people who have guns or swords are very infrequently, the most knowledgeable and just amongst us, and that, at a certain point,
the ability to live in peace, and to have your family go to the mosque and pray and go to school and learn and sit and eat with your friends in peace and not fear death, not fear or random acts of violence at certain point, that stability is much more important than
having justice reign around you.
What you know,
so, so, so tiny mushroom hydro Manhattan minifit nothing to do.
As as Alison I know this is a Persian saying as well and Persian tradition.
Oh, I A impressive. Salton is better than strife that never ends.
We have just one final question. I'm sorry to say this. So we need to be out of the room and out of the building by nine o'clock.
Yeah, through it. It's important. This this gentleman had a question. You already asked a question. He has a question.
Oh, you mean the source sunny attitude towards government and power.
So when confessional ambiguity is a it's a really specific technical term. I think it's Marshall Hobson, who introduces this term. And it's specific to his particular use in the context of
kind of Anatolia, Iraq and Iran in the kind of larger historical sense of Iran in the from the 1200s 1500s. Where you are the early 1500s where you basically have it becomes very difficult to tell who's Sunni and Shiite because you have you know, a ruler on one side of the coin they'll have plenty slogans on the other side of the coin have Shiites slogans literally, they're, you know, they were there. Their Sunday technically but their their veneration for the family. The Prophet is so extreme that it almost
seem Shiite. So there's, that's what I mean by confessional ambiguity and it's, there's certain periods of confessional ambiguity in Islamic history and certain places that are pronounced sort of Anatolia through Iran in the from the really the 1200s to the 1500s, I think is a good example.
And you know, you can see this with the scholar like, Jet Alhaji devonne he dies around 1503 1502 who is the kind of last big semi scholar of Iran Sunni the evolution of Iran from Shiraz, from causer of near Shiraz. And
Yo, in Shiite scholars even writing,
like picture study writing just a few decades after the death of divani. You know, he, he talks about how devonte became Shiite at the end of his life. So nice, don't attack don't accept that. But when you're trying to figure out odd become shared or not. At a certain point, you realize it's almost impossible to tell because
the way he's talking about the moms or the family, the profit could be either Sunni or she doesn't, you know, especially in his time and place there was it was it was just, it was a common language of veneration. So that's what I mean by confessional ambiguity.
I guess that was last question. Thanks very much, folks.